Since the post-racial shift of our societies in the mid-twentieth century, they have been ceaselessly reviewing their protocols on the subject of equity. The constant struggle of minorities for more equality reminds us that the achievements of the African-American civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the same-sex civil marriage in 2002, or the 2008 Truth and Reconciliation Commission with the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, are a series of processes rather than a simple succession of dates, accomplishments and victories. The evidence that this process is largely unfinished lies in the persistence of inequalities.
In addition, the United Nations insist that minorities – whether national, ethnic, cultural, religious, sexual or other – have a right to equity and to the protection of their existence. Regardless of their status (still active or passive), they all face a common obstacle: the discriminatory structures deeply embedded in social habits. Although minority and majority cannot exist independently from each other, the term minority carries within it the implication of a diminished voice. In other words, the numerical majority is not necessarily the one that has a “voice” in the matter.
Amid this tension between majority/minority and these general observations, the concept of minority remains difficult to define, as indicated by the absence of a unanimous definition at the international level. This resistance to standardization highlights a systemic difficulty in our world: to perceive fairly and accurately the issues surrounding the conditions for the dialogue about equity. Indeed, in the beginning of the 21st century, the values of equality, freedom and dialogue that our democratic societies advocate, clash with their capitalist and productivist foundations based on hyper-categorization, division of labor and biopolitics (sex/gender/race).
If the first questions that come to mind are: Who are these minority voices? How are they resilient? How do they find solutions to systemic violence? On what basis can we establish an equitable dialogue towards a more egalitarian social utopia? What approaches can inspire and change customs to foster a more egalitarian society?
The artists of this 14th edition of the festival will be dedicated to penetrate the blindspots of our gaze. They will guide us with sensitivity and emotion through the universe of the struggles for difference and dignity.